Although I am a seminarian for the Diocese of Richmond, I grew up in Northern Virginia. My dad is from El Salvador and my mom is from Brazil, and I have one older brother who is eight years older than me. My favorite hobbies include playing tennis and soccer. After finishing high school, I went to the College of William and Mary where I majored in French and Francophone Studies and minored in Psychology.
During my time at William and Mary, I become involved with the Catholic Campus Ministry (CCM). CCM helped me so much in terms of discerning a possible call to the priesthood. In CCM, I met my closest friends (all of which were also discerning a vocation), I developed a deeper prayer life, I went on discernment retreats organized by the diocese, and I was just able to be in a safe environment where I could grow in my relationship with God.
I was very hesitant about my decision to apply to seminary. “Will I do a good job?” “Will people like me?” “Am I as cool as the current seminarians?” But one day Jesus encouraged me with these words that I believe He spoke to my heart, “Alex, go to the priesthood and do not be afraid.” I am so glad I decided to take the plunge after His words. During my time in seminary, I have grown and I have received so many gifts and blessings from the Lord along the way. I know that He loves me and that He will be with me in whatever He calls me to.